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GoodData Makes a Huge Difference at... GoodData!

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GoodData Makes a Huge Difference at... GoodData!

I'm a strategy and business operations analyst at GoodData, so I'm a numbers person. My job is to use data to take a deep look at how we do business and then recommend ways to do things better, and like every good craftsperson, I rely heavily on certain tools to get my job done. Some use a hammer, I used Excel.

When I joined GoodData, Excel was still my main weapon at work. I used it to track hundreds of thousands of leads and mash several data sets together in order to put together a weekly analysis of our marketing efforts. While Excel is fantastic for a great many things, it was insufficient for what I was doing. The first iteration of the report took more than three weeks to build, and would take at least three hours to update every week – this was especially frustrating when an overloaded Excel would crash midway through.

We're a data-hungry company, so we analyze a ton of information. I spent 90 percent of my time building and running these reports every week, but it still didn't have bandwidth I needed to do valuable analyses. Sharing the information from Excel was difficult, and I had problems getting buy-in from the marketing team because there was no single source for the information we were using. This led to us making decisions based on opinions rather than facts, and as a result, our marketing efforts weren't providing the return we needed.

GoodData changed everything. Information I needed – and that everyone trusted – was in one place, and 95 percent of the reports I used to run manually became automated. I still remember my smile the first time I opened our executive summary dashboard, which visualized our funnel against our goals in a single, clean dashboard. This used to take me more than 5 hours to create in Salesforce.com; now it's 100 percent automated. Within 10 days I had all of the reports, along with nine other dashboards from 6 different data sources up and running. Reports are now run with a click of the button, rather than all-day number crunching in Excel.

Most importantly, we're actually analyzing the drivers and trends behind the company's performance now. The time I used to spend in excel is now spent crafting a narrative that explains what the numbers mean and outlining a strategy to maximize results from our marketing programs. We exceeded our goals for sales qualified leads (SQLs) – the Holy Grail of metrics in our company – five out of the first six weeks after we implemented GoodData, and have produced more than 150 SQLs in two of the last four months, something we had never done before.

Because so many of my tasks were automated, I was able put more meaning into my work. In just three months, I was able to become an expert on the business, rather than just a number cruncher. That means I produce a lot more value for the company, which means I'm more valuable to the company – and that's incredibly valuable to me.

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